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Norwegian Joy Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
282 Reviews

Lots of issues

Norwegian Joy Cruise Review by NikkiHowell531

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom

This was my third cruise with NCL to Alaska, first on the Joy. The boarding process was a breeze! We were greeted by very friendly staff and our rooms were ready when we got on the ship.

The stateroom steward was very friendly and attentive.

We saw the live shows Footloose and Elements. Both were beyond amazing!!! I wish we would have seen them more than once!

The buffet food was decent but never seemed to be hot by the time we got to our table. It was impossible to find a free table, even during slower times. If we did find a table we would have to track down a busser to clear the table from the prior people because they weren't cleared in a timely manner. I felt the ethnic options were better on past cruises. There wasn't a lot of options in the buffet, just numerous stations serving the same things.

The Local was a good place to stop for a quick bite. Service was good.

We ate one meal at Savor. We sat over 5 minutes before even getting water. The menu options were very limited. I ordered a fish sandwich with waffle fries. It was served without the fries initially and the waitress said she would get the waffle fries. 15 minutes later I was served a dish of cold regular fries. We had to practically beg to get our drinks refilled. Needless to say we didn't go back there.

I was traveling with a cigar smoker and a cigarette smoker. On past cruises with NCL they allowed both in the Cigar Lounge. This time they were not allowing cigarette smokers in the cigar lounge and only had one spot on the entire ship for all cigarette smokers to go. It was outside with no covering or tables. There was no drink service in the cigar lounge like there has been on prior ships and to purchase a cigar, there was a phone number posted on the wall but no phone to use so you'd have to go back to your room and call and run back down to meet the person to get the cigar.

One member of our group has limited mobility and uses a walker. There were flatter handicapped accessible ramps when we got off in ports but at one Port when we came back the ramp was down but not able to be used because they didn't have adequate staff to work it. They had us wait for over 20 minutes and still didn't have staffing. I finally ended up pulling the walker and the family member with limited mobility up the very steep ramp to get back on the ship. They were also using the same ramp as an exit ramp which caused some major issues.

The staff at the District bar was incredible. I can't say enough good things about them!!!

The variety of onboard activities was limited. There were a lot of singing/dancing options. On prior cruises there was a lot more options such as Crafters meet-ups.

I spent hours over the week cruise in line at guest services. My first cruise was under my married name, all cruises since have been under my maiden name. For some reason this time they kept trying to use my old married name. I showed them my certified divorce paperwork with the name change, photo id with the correct name and they couldn't seem to get it fixed. Almost every day I'd have to go to guest services because of another name issue.

Disembark was a disaster to say the least. I have never seen such a disorganized mess of a disembark process. It was not a great way to end the cruise.

I will definitely cruise Norwegian again but will be avoiding the Joy and if issues like this come up again I'll be switching to a different cruise company. That's a lot of money to deal with that many issues.

NikkiHowell531's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA 10802

Room was comfy and clean. Sofa was very uncomfortable to use as a bed.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Amazing food, lots of fun

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4x4 Tour

Second time doing this excursion. A ton of fun, great food, amazing views, fun staff!!!

View All 36 4x4 Tour Reviews

Great tour guides!! Was listed as being good for mobility issues, I would disagree. There was quite a bit of walking up hills and over uneven ground.

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No excursions were available through the cruise line during our time there

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